Politics
Will the Real Mocha Uson Please Stand Up?
The former sex guru is now a government-sanctioned censor who promises to deliver us from the evils of soft porn.
ILLUSTRATOR Sasha Martinez
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I liked the pre-2015 Margaux "Mocha" Uson. Outspoken and utterly fearless, I thought she was a much-needed sexual provocateur in a country that has the dubious distinction of being the only place in the world—aside from Vatican City—that lacks divorce laws.

Livin' La Vida Mocha

In those less complicated days, I thought it was more fun to listen to Mocha talking about her vibrator than to a self-proclaimed servant of God ranting about condoms being works of Satan. 

Back then, Mocha's blog was all about sex—a subject that is far more pleasurable than politics. She also disclosed that she was bisexual and even gave actress Krista Ranillo her first girl-on-girl kiss in 2009. Mocha later told entertainment news site PEP, "I'm proud I'm Krista's first. Her lips are sweet and soft. She's really a good kisser." 

Mocha—the main attraction of the all-female singing and dancing group Mocha Girls—was the living embodiment of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl." She had no qualms about saying that she liked it (along with all other consensual sexual activities)—much to the horror of the holier-than-thou set.

In 2011, Mocha expressed her support for the then-proposed reproductive health (RH) bill and even dared the Catholic Church to excommunicate her for it. The following year, she dressed up as a nun for a controversial magazine shoot that aimed to highlight the need for sex education, breast cancer awareness, and freedom of expression.

Senator Tito Sotto said: "She is a very good choice because she abounds with common sense and knows the pulse of the public well." 

 Mocha, Not a Journalist

By late 2015, though, Mocha reinvented herself as an online rabble-rouser championing presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte. 

The Mocha Uson Blog—which is now based on Facebook—already had 2.5 million followers before it got political. Millions more discovered Mocha's new incarnation when she started actively blasting Duterte's critics. As of January 7, 2017, Mocha's Facebook page has over 4.6 million followers. 

Some time after Duterte was sworn in as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, several of his celebrity supporters were appointed to government positions. While there were rumors that Mocha would be appointed as a social media consultant for the Bureau of Customs, she steadfastly declared, "I don’t need a government post to serve my country."

 

Penetrating the MTRCB

On January 5, 2017, it was announced that Mocha had been appointed as a board member of the Movie and Television Review And Classification Board (MTRCB). As expected, all hell broke loose. 

The MTRCB—which was formed under the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos—is tasked to "promote a value-based media and entertainment." In other words, there have been numerous times when the agency functioned like an extension of the Catholic Church—the very same institution that Mocha has criticized in the past. 

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It was not too long ago that the MTRCB tried to impose its puritan tenets on the rest of the population. In 1994, it wanted to cut out a brief sex scene from the critically acclaimed Schindler's List and banned award-winning The Piano for being "pornographic." President Fidel Ramos had to intervene so the films could be shown. 

The MTRCB went on to ban the geriatric romantic flick The Bridges of Madison County—which starred Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep—in 1995 because it found a non-sexual nudity scene "offensive." Henrietta "Etta" Mendez, who was the MTRCB chief at that time, explained, "There is pubic hair exposure, which...is contrary to our good customs and is injurious to the prestige of Filipino women." 

In 2006, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on the MTRCB to ban The Da Vinci Code for being blasphemous, as the book on which the film was based implied that Jesus Christ had a child with Mary Magdalene. After much fuss, the agency decided to give the film a "For Adults Only" rating. 

That same year, the MTRCB suspended GMA's documentary show i-Witness for two weeks because it featured the lukayo ritual in Kalayaan, Laguna, which involved the use (symbolic, mind you) of wooden phalluses. 

It didn't matter that the love scene set inside a car was pretty tame compared to the pornography that people can now easily access online or that the show aired after 9 p.m., past any child's bedtime.

Although the MTRCB has been more "liberal" in recent years, its morality police tendencies are still present. In November 2016, the agency summoned the folks behind ABS-CBN's primetime telenovela Till I Met You over a love scene between the characters played by James Reid and Nadine Lustre. It didn't matter that the love scene set inside a car was pretty tame compared to the pornography that people can now easily access online or that the show aired after 9 p.m., past any child's bedtime. MTRCB Chairman Eugenio "Toto" Villareal said TV shows and films must adhere to "contemporary Filipino cultural values." 

At first, Mocha's appointment as an MTRCB board member seemed like a crazy idea that had possibilities of being great. Imagine a woman with liberated views serving an agency that has styled itself as the chastity belt of the Filipino pscyhe.

Mocha's critics, of course, expressed their exasperation over her MTRCB appointment.

Former MTRCB board member Leah Navarro tweeted, "Blogging is not a qualification for appointment to the MTRCB. Which industry is she representing? Is she multi-awarded?"

Meanwhile, DJ Mo Twister pointed out that the appointment was straight out of the traditional politics playbook. "I thought you said when your horse wins that 'Change is coming'? Looks like the same old shit to me," he wrote. 

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Mocha had her defenders, of course. Actor-turned-politician Senator Tito Sotto said, "She is a very good choice because she abounds with common sense and knows the pulse of the public well." Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar likewise chided Mocha's dtractors, saying, "What makes her not qualified? Mocha is an artist. She’s one of the biggest artists that we have in the country."

Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar: "What makes her not qualified? Mocha is an artist. She’s one of the biggest artists that we have in the country."

Et tu, Margaux?

As for me, I was kind of looking forward to Mocha as an MTRCB board member. God knows, that agency needs to be shaken up and be reminded that it's not an extension of the Church.

Alas, it seems that Mocha has once again decided to reinvent herself. Shortly after her appointment as an MTRCB board member, Mocha declared in an interview, "Pagtutuunan po natin ng pansin na mawala na yung mga soft porn sa mga teleserye (I will focus on making sure that soft porn not be featured in telenovelas)." She went to lament that there are telenovelas with sex scenes in various settings—such as cars. 

This is a plot twist that nobody saw coming. It looks like Mocha is working on becoming this generation's Etta Mendez. The thought may seem absurd but, hey, this is the era of change—where people are free to contradict themselves to the point where nobody can keep track of the things that really matter.

At this point, we can only look at the silver lining. Out of all the allegedly hateful things that her critics have associated with Mocha, her MTRCB appointment is, perhaps, the least disturbing. After all, what terrible thing can she do that the agency hasn't already done before?

With her "anti-soft porn" declaration, Mocha's appointment as MTRCB board member is rendered superfluous. It's safe to say that soft porn already has enough enemies on the MTRCB board.

With her "anti-soft porn" declaration, Mocha's appointment as MTRCB board member is rendered superfluous. It's safe to say that soft porn already has enough enemies on the MTRCB board.

So, what can we learn from this? Well, first off, you don't mess with a woman who dares to openly speak about the benefits of using her vibrator everyday—sometimes even twice or thrice a day. That's the kind of woman who is capable of anything. 

Besides, the MTRCB no longer has the same power that it had before. These days, whatever they ban will probably be uploaded online, where it can exist for years for people of all ages to view or download uncut. 

And forget about soft porn on TV, there's an orgy of porn variants online. Case in point: In 2016, Filipinos were ranked No. 1 for most time spent (an average of 12 minutes and 45 seconds) on PornHub. Incidentally, some of Mocha's lighthearted and fun sex instruction videos can be found on the site. But, of course, she was a different person then—and, obviously, we can hardly keep up with who she is these days. 

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Change can be a good thing, but right now I'm just very confused.

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